Experts Weigh in On Financial Literacy in Uganda

Many people are likely to recover from financial illness as more insurance firms and commercial banks continuously pass on key-turning financial knowledge of saving and investing in highly-rewarding ventures.

Experts Weigh in On Financial Literacy in Uganda

By John Kusolo

Many people are likely to recover from financial illness as more insurance firms and commercial banks continuously pass on key-turning financial knowledge of saving and investing in highly-rewarding ventures.

Samuel Matekha, the Head of Communications at Diamond Trust Bank, says many Ugandans are suffering financially because of not utilizing resources around them that can fetch additional incomes to their pockets.

“Think about it. A girl is earning 100,000 shillings and spends it on clothes and shoes, having no plan of investing this money and turning it into better value. How about if you got an insurance policy? How about opening a digital savings account in a bank?” wondered Matekha.

The ultimate goal is to upskill and see Ugandans making informed decisions about investing in ventures they fully understand, according to John Walugembe, the Executive Director of the Federation of SMEs Uganda.

Jacqueline Kalembe, the Communications Officer of UAP Old Mutual Life Assurance Uganda, says the fact that nearly 80% of NSSF savings beneficiaries blow away their money in their first year of receiving, indicates low financial literacy levels in Uganda.

A financial capability report from the Bank of Uganda, reveals that only 25% save for investment and it also shows that a quarter of adults save, but for only consumption.

Kalembe observes the need to educate the masses on financial concepts that will enable them to prepare, save, and invest in lucrative ventures, among other financial knowledge aspects.

Jane Amuge Okello, Operations Director at Uhuru Institute for Social Development notes that opportunities are got by the ready innovative humans who have embraced practical knowledge.

“There is a variety of things that can be invested in, like the Agribusiness sector, products in insurance, small-scale businesses, among others. Let’s work and reduce income generation and transit to wealth creation,” says Amuge.

Matekha advises Ugandans to position themselves in opportune platforms having skilled entrepreneurs and investors that can help in building and executing innovative ideas. He encourages planning for time accordingly.

“Don’t wait for the job to pay you, build your finances and with a positive mindset, invest them once you earn,” says Matekha. Walugembe concludes that fundamentally, people should understand that they must have an income to save.

“Grow income and minimize expenditure, save and invest. The challenge is that Ugandans want to invest in immediate physical assets. Be patient and earn in abundance,” says Walugembe.

Agume further urges stakeholders in the finance space to work together and package the insurance message and financial education in an easy language because economics language makes low-income earners think such packages are for high-end workers. “People have shunned insurance and banking because they think it’s for high-end workers,” Agume said.